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Buy Or Sell – Do The Strokes Still Matter? OoS Not A Big Deal? Will Pulp Draw A Crowd?

So there’s been a radical change to the Buy Or Sell formula, rather than reviewing hot new singles, our writers will be going head to head on the hottest talking points surrounding Reading and Leeds 2011.

This week it’s Future Dust, and Future Rust indie specialist Simone F going head to head with Reading and Glastonbury veteran reviewer Craig Brooks. If Craig and Simone can’t settle and issue between them, it’ll be down to Strictly Editor David Hayter to jump in and settle the score…

Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.

1. Muse playing Origin Of Symmetry in its entirety is not a big deal?     

Simone F: BUY

I have never been the biggest Muse fan, actually let me re-word, I am not even a fan of Muse. Before you go off on one, I have listened to Origins Of Symmetry once or twice (no more) and I still haven’t seen the appeal that most rock fans see. I guess, even if I were to be a Muse fanny, I wouldn’t see why this would still be the biggest deal about their set. Do Muse not have any other decent records, asides from this?

Craig Brooks: SELL

Going to disagree with Simone here. Maybe its because I’m a huge Muse fan but it’s such a special album in the history of the band. It’s not often you get to see a band play an album in full either, and it’s going to be an epic occasion for any fans of the band that are present. It may not seem like anything other than a normal set for people who aren’t particularly fussed about the band but even they will enjoy it.

Strictly Our Opinion: This is a really tough one, but I have to break the tie, and I’m going to say Muse playing OoS is a big deal. Not because it’s an all time classic that every rock fan loves, but because Muse are realy over-exposed as a festival headliner, and this set helps them to stand out. It makes their R&L performance unique compared to their V, IOW, Glasto, and Wembley shows. Plus we’re promised a new stage show, so that should be enough to make this Muse set stand out. SELL

2. Reading and Leeds not selling out, or selling out slowly, will be “good for the festival”?      

Simone F: SELL

This was tough one for me. I can see this having both advantages and well as the disadvantages. Advantage being perhaps Festival Republic will take some notice about the poorly viewed headliners, it’s down to personal opinion but I believe they are pretty weak, to others this could be the strongest set yet (god forbid), but having been a Reading Festival goer for years, the headliners did nothing for me this time around. And it’s the same for many other ‘regulars.’

I am more annoyed about all the previous years having to be involved in the scramble for tickets dead at 7pm, this year tickets are still available. Hopefully Reading and Leeds will go back to the better days before 2007 (?) with the better bands, and better crowd (who this year have most likely to have swapped rock for pop.) Who knows? Maybe Reading will go back to the jolly good days, maybe people like myself have taken this year off for whatever reason; mine being Rock En Seine happening the same weekend.

Craig Brooks: BUY

Agree with Simone that this is a toughie. I don’t actually expect heaps to change next year and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see slow ticket sales again. Reading and Leeds Festivals have been crying out for change for a long time and it was never going to happen whilst the festival kept selling out in no time so hopefully the volume of tickets left over will be a trigger for things to change and for the bigwigs to start paying more attention to fans. As I alluded to earlier it may have to happen again next year for it to have much effect on the overall running of the Festivals.

Strictly Our Opinion: Another tough one, I can’t see this making a major difference, if next year has mammoth headliners, the festival will sell out and all this will be forgotten. FR don’t need to panic, the festival never used to sell out instantly, and in many ways this year’s event reminds me of 2005 and 2004. Hopefully, the festival organizers will start to interact with the fanbase more, and create more of a community, but I don’t see a non-sell out being good or bad for the festival. SELL

3. This year’s most talked about set will come from the under card, not the headliners? 

Simone F: BUY

I strongly agree with this. I don’t believe the main acts have many special sets to offer us, maybe The Strokes, but as they are about as unpredictable as a feisty pit bull, you never know what to expect. I hope they do come on to the stage at Reading and light it up. I really do. I think Midnight Beast could offer us the greatest set of the century, wait sorry I meant the why are you here?

Friendly Fires were my highlight in 2008 and at Glastonbury this year. They will give Muse a run for their money when it comes down to the set. Friendly Fires won’t be anything more than the amazing ray of sun shine that will get the dancing like its not 1995.

Ed Sheeran is another contender. His set will bring a huge amount of hype and talk, he is the dark horse this year, and should not be dismissed; he seems to be getting top notch live reviews from the fans and the music business folks. Ed could be the Mumford & Sons of 2011

Craig Brooks: SELL

You don’t need to look any further than The Strokes headline spot for most talked about set. They will be the talk of all the Indie/Scenester types but at the same time will appeal to the masses as well. They’ve not been around for a while so the fact most people haven’t seen them for so long should see the anticipation levels at a frenzy. Backed by a lot of big tunes they’re the act that cannot to be missed at Reading/Leeds 2011. If anything was going to come close to challenging them for set of the weekend I’d have to point people towards Ed Sheeran.

Strictly Our Opinion: I think The National, The Offspring, Cults, Madness, Anna Calvi, Jane’s Addiction and a whole host of others could steal the show, but let’s face it, My Chemical Romance will be the most talked about set of the weekend. Whether it rocks, sucks, or is just kind of okay, people will want to find out what happened; they will be the talk of the campsite come Saturday morning. SELL

4. Reading and Leeds 2011 lacks a sense of identity? 

Simone F: BUY

This year I would say it does lack an identity with the fans, and pretty much only the fans of the bigger acts would have brought tickets this year. Whereas year upon year Reading had sold out purely for being Reading, now only the ‘real’ fans of the bigger acts are going.

If we look upon all the other festivals, then yes Reading and Leeds does seems to be the lost, with V, T In The Park selling out. I get it Reading and Leeds is not a pop festival, I can’t help but feel this is why neither have sold out. The usually clan of neon crowds have gone elsewhere, the Reading regulars have had enough of the poor headline acts. Making this the first year in many years not to have sold out within hours.

Craig Brooks: BUY

The only identity it would have is a negative one which is a real shame for me personally as the festival is very important to me. Over the years it turned into more and more of an Indie festival with a the odd heavier band thrown in here or there, regardless of whether you were a fan of the acts or not it sold out year after year, and that gave R&L an identity of sorts. But the younger fans haven’t bought ticket in masses this year as have most likely opted for other festivals. A Poor lineup coupled with tickets not coming close to selling out have taken some of the soul and life out of the festival.

Strictly Our Opinion: BUY

We’ve reached the half way point and it’s time for Simeon and Craig to switch places in this crazy tango, Craig takes the lead, let’s dance.

5. The Strokes Still Matter.

Craig Brooks: BUY

Any band that can disappear for that length of time then provoke such a level of excitement on their return definitely still matter. Each new track released is being met with a massively positive response. Indie music is still a lot about just going with whatever is trendy, but as well as being trendy The Strokes are a hugely talented band, and you can pretty much guarantee they’d sell out every date of a UK tour.

Simone F: BUY

I pretty much agree with Craig here, The Strokes will always matter, they were pretty much the band who brought indie into the 00′s with the amazing debut Is This It, which, let’s face it, will be on of the century’s greatest indie albums. If The Strokes were to tour, they would sell out in a flat second. I guess having them only appear a handful of festivals this year to go with along with the new album, suggests that The Stokes set shall be once in a lifetime event.

Strictly Our Opinion: BUY

6. The controversy surrounding My Chemical Romance’s headline slot, is much ado about nothing?

Craig Brooks: SELL

The vast majority of Reading/Leeds festival stalwarts over the years would agree the festivals have been going downhill and aren’t what they used to be. The festivals have been coasting for far too long and selling out on the name/brand that they are. MCR being announced as a headliner coinciding with both festivals not selling out for the first time in many years is certainly no coincidence. It’s a lazy booking and although it’s still somewhat of a trendy thing amongst certain crowds to be at either festival, in these financial times, poor lineups are going to hit ticket sales.

Simone F: SELL

Adding My Chemical Romance as a headliner, was the worst situation Festival Republic could have created. MCR have passed their peaked and don’t have much else to offer us. I do wonder if MCR were subbing, then maybe this entire hate/backlash would not have been as strong.

I agree with Craig, in recent year’s the Reading and Leeds headliners have continuous got worse, but every year I have always wanted to see at least two headliners, which in my books is pretty decent. This year I hit and miss on just one.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

Fond Memories Of Reading 2010?

7. Reading And Leeds 2011 will be remembered more fondly than R&L 2010?

Craig Brooks: SELL

Reading And Leeds 2011 will be remembered in nothing but a negative way for me. The declining quality of lineups over the year have been reflected by the shockingly poor speed of ticket sales and although I’ve attended the last five festivals I am breaking my streak and not going this year.

After various fees the cost of a weekend ticket has climbed above £200 and the overall quality of acts across the board just isn’t making people go wow anymore. The only good thing to come out of this year’s festival is the touts getting hit so hard in the pocket.

Simone F: SELL

I most defiantly agree with Craig with the line up being somewhat of a dampener, but having looked and admired the NME and Festival Republic line ups, I cannot help but be drawn to the smaller new bands, this is somewhat of an amazement, as the top of the bill does little for me.

Who really wants to play with the big guns, who are already passed their sell by date? At the end of the day a festival will always be judged based upon its headliners; if your headliners are weak people won’t pay to go. Fact.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

8. Pulp will struggle to draw younger fans (the majority of fans) up against Crystal Castles?

Craig Brooks: SELL

The entry to the Park Stage at Glastonbury was closed off this year due to the crazy volume of people crammed in to see Pulp, so I don’t doubt there’s still a huge audience for them. Pulp should capture most of the older fans and as an added draw they’re subbing to The Strokes so tens of thousands of people will already be around the Main Stage clamouring to get a good spot for The Strokes. Crystal Castles will undoubtedly draw a decent sized crowd but taking into the account the earlier mentioned factors and throw in a handful of classic tunes that everyone knows, and that will see to it that Pulp pull in a huge audience.

Simone F: SELL

Crystal Castles, let’s face it have played every single year for god knows how long, but I guess it’s really all about Pulp. Unless you are a hardcore fanny of Crystal Castles, I can’t see the tent being that rammed. Pulp subbing The Strokes will most likely add an extra few teenagers who’ll be saving their space for their indie princes. Plus with Reading and Leeds not selling out, who knows if the young teenagers will even bother to show up this year?

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

So another week is in the books, remember we always want to hear from our readers, so feel free to tell us what you’re buying and what your selling, on facebook, twitter or the comment section.

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Author: david

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